This year marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Lafayette Urban Ministry Emergency Shelter for the homeless. Started as a joint effort between St. Thomas Aquinas Center and LUM, the shelter’s first location was on the second floor of the old Reifer Parsonage at Central Presbyterian Church. We started with seven beds.
In 1987 we moved to the old Franciscan Convent at St. Boniface Church – 22 beds. And in 1995 we moved into the shelter’s current 42 bed location on North Fourth Street in downtown Lafayette.
For each of those years, our shelter has been a place of warmth and safety for those in our community who have nowhere else to turn – a place whose doors are always open.
And since 1984, more than 10,000 different individuals have been our guests at the shelter a combined total of 200,000 times!
Some of those guests have lost their jobs and been evicted from their homes. Some are estranged from family because of mental illness or addiction. Others have been temporarily stranded in our community due to breakdowns or mishaps during travel.
Each is valued in God’s eyes. And at LUM, each is extended Christ’s hospitality and compassion.
But over the years, we have become more than just a well-run emergency shelter. Our primary focus is to help the homeless move off the street, out of our shelter and into a home of their own. We have helped literally thousands of homeless men and women to make a fresh start.
- Like the woman who was dumped by her abusive boyfriend into a snow bank in our parking lot. We provided her a safe place that night and in the morning a bus ticket to return home to her parents.
- Or the homeless vet who stayed with us while he was being connected to VA health services and enrolled as a resident at the Indiana Veterans Home.
- Or the twenty guests each week that receive job coaching at LUM. A full one-third of our homeless guests are employed, staying with us until their first paycheck arrives and they can move into a home of their own.
- Or the Purdue PhD graduate whose mental illness worsened after she lost her university-sponsored mental health care and prescription drug benefits. She stayed at the LUM shelter until we were able to connect her with a new psychiatrist and therapist. She found a job and moved into an apartment.
It is not easy work. And not every story is a success story. But for 30 years, we have been absolutely committed to helping our homeless neighbors move on to more productive, self-sufficient lives.
I hope you will join me in supporting this important work with your dollars…
- $250 will operate our shelter for one day.
- $100 cover the costs of our case management services for one day.
- $50 will provide food, drink, and personal grooming items for our 280 overnight guests each week.
- A gift of $1,000 will pay the shelter’s heat, water and electric bills for one month.
- $500 will cover our shelter’s monthly maintenance, repair and fire protection costs.
Your gift to the LUM emergency shelter program will celebrate thirty years of serving the homeless with dignity and compassion. It will keep our doors open in the here and now, help our guests to become more self-sufficient – and it will assure that this important work continues into the future.
As we search for new ways to reunite our guests with the support of family and friends, help equip them for employment in a shifting economy and search for better avenues for mental health and addiction services, your help is needed more than ever.
Perhaps you’ve been part of this remarkable effort by serving as a volunteer case manager, overnight shelter volunteer or volunteer meal provider. Perhaps you’ve been supportive through your prayers or words of encouragement. My hope is that you will join me now in supporting the LUM shelter program with a generous financial gift.
Place mail your check in or give online at www.lumserve.org.
P.S. — Help us to celebrate 30 years of shelter ministry at LUM. Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 will allow us to help the homeless in our community move off the streets, out of our shelter and into a home of their own. Please, may we hear from you today? Give online at www.lumserve.org.
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